A. W. Tozer Sermon: The Deeper Life (Transcript)

Full text of A. W. Tozer’s sermon titled ‘The Deeper Life’

Quotable Quote(s) from this message:

“Those two chains bind the whole human race: Loves and fears. We love something and can’t get it, but we love something and we’re afraid we’re going to lose it. So we’re bound with that chain.”

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Aiden Wilson Tozer – Christian Pastor, Preacher, Author

The deeper life — what is it and how can I enter into it?

I really haven’t a text, but I have been reading this verse in chapter 6 of Hebrews.

Hebrews 6:1-2: “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”

‘Let us go on under perfection’ has been a sort of an overall text.

Then I have also shown from 1 Corinthians 3 and other passages of Scripture, that one of the great problems, even of the early church, was that of the static Christian. It is one of the great problems today. I think it is a problem even greater than that of getting people converted.

The problem of the static Christian: how to get a Christian interested in becoming more than an average run-of-the-mill type of believer that you see everywhere, and so many of us become static or are static. The static Christian is one who’s retarded in his progress.

Paul said, “What did hinder you? You did run well…” (Galatians 5:7), but now you are hindered. And thus the progress is stunted, and retarded, and the growth is stunted. And then there’s the lack of moral dynamic which every Christian ought to know.

Now this is the static Christian, and I believe that if we will listen, we will hear God speaking. “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (Revelation 3:22)

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And I believe that if we hear what the Spirit says in our day, we will hear God say, “Moses, My servant is dead. Therefore arise, go over this Jordan, and into the land which I have given to you. Every place the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given you.” (Joshua 1:1-3)

I believe we’ll hear the Spirit God say, ‘let us go on under perfection’. Let us go on beyond repentance from past sins. Let us go on beyond forgiveness and cleansing from past sins. Let us go on beyond the impartation of divine life. Let’s be sure, however, that we get these first things settled first to the point of absolute assurance.

There can be no deeper life until there has been life. There can be no progress in the way until we are in the way. There can be no growth until there has been birth. And all the efforts toward a deeper life will only bring disappointment, unless we have first settled the matter of repentance from dead works and the forgiveness of sins and the impartation of divine life in conversion.

But now, to break down the deeper life, I want briefly to mention that it’s two things, as I shall say today — it’s more than that, but two I want to mention today.

One is a complete forsaking of the world, and the other is a turning wholly to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, that’s not only my opinion of it, but that is what the Bible teaches about it. And that is the standard formula that has come down to us from the very early days of the church.

You will find it written into the great hymns of the church, and you will find it written into the great books of devotion of the church down the years, that these two things are necessary for a Christian who would go on and break the static condition and become a flowing, moving, progressive, dynamic Christian.

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There must be a complete forsaking of the world and a turning wholly to our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, we’ll talk first about this FORSAKING OF THE WORLD. It’s entirely possible to be religious and not to have forsaken the world at all. The proof of this is that you will find professed Christians wherever or at least almost wherever, you will find non-Christians. I want to be as broad minded and fair as I can about this.

And I suppose there are places where you will not find men claiming to be Christians. I don’t know whether gangsters who habitually and as a system destroyed by death, those who are their rivals, take them out and shoot them. I don’t know whether you would find any Christians – professed Christians — among gangsters or not, although I do know this that when certain gangsters have died by the bullet, they have been mumbled into the kingdom of God and squirted into the kingdom of God by oil and all the rest. And their leaders have tried very hard even to get those bloody men into the kingdom of God unsaved, unblessed, unshriven, unforgiven and without time even to say ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ And yet people try to get them in.

So I presume that there are those who claim to be some kind of Christian who even engage in the mutual extermination of each other for the sake of the south side or the north side or the west side racket.

I do remember of a young man who was a murderer who was sentenced to the chair a few years ago and was to die out here in Cook County jail. But they set his death hour for a certain day, and then later reversed it and changed it because they said it fell on a holiday of his religion and they didn’t want to put him to death on a day that was a holiday of his religion. So they changed it, so he didn’t have to die on a holiday.

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So I suppose that you will find Christians just about everywhere, or men who claim they’re Christians, I mean, certainly you will find them at the racetrack and certainly there never has been a sport invented so vile and violent and vicious that you will not find Christians sitting around there with their New Testament in their hip pocket.

And I don’t think that there is a gambling hall where you won’t find some kind of Christians there. I don’t think that there’s any worldly pleasures where you don’t find them. It’s possible to be religious and not to forsake the world.

Yet nobody can be a Christian in the right sense of the world word until he has forsaken the world.

Second, it is possible to forsake the world in body and never forsake it in spirit at all. It’s possible to forsake the world externally and still be worldly inside.

Now, the situation with the monks and the nuns down the centuries has been exactly that. Now, I’m not saying this is the Protestants, I’m letting they themselves say it. Some of the great Christian souls were those who tried to reform these monasteries and nunneries and to get them to be in their real inner life what they were in their external outer life. They were hidden away from the world in their bodies and dressed a certain way in order that they might be separated from the world.

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